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[in-fur-tl or, esp. British, -tahyl] /ɪnˈfɜr tl or, esp. British, -taɪl/
not fertile; unproductive; sterile; barren:
infertile soil.
Origin of infertile
1590-1600; < Latin infertilis. See in-3, fertile
Related forms
infertilely, adverb
infertility, infertileness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for infertile
  • Cloning could be a blessing for the infertile, who otherwise could not experience biological parenthood.
  • Cloning could be a blessing for the infertile, who otherwise could not experience biological parent hood.
  • If a couple are infertile and wish they were not, that is sad.
  • The problem is not that the rhinos are half-blind, lumbering, and often infertile-which they are.
  • Some elderly individuals of many wild mammal and bird species are found to be infertile.
  • My husband became infertile after intense chemotherapy treatments.
  • It is mostly infertile desert, rock and a lake that is too salty to support even fish.
  • The child was given to an infertile couple and never knew his father.
British Dictionary definitions for infertile


not capable of producing offspring; sterile
(of land) not productive; barren
Derived Forms
infertilely, adverb
infertility (ˌɪnfəˈtɪlɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infertile

1590s, from French infertile (late 15c.), from Late Latin infertilis "unfruitful," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fertilis (see fertile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infertile in Medicine

infertile in·fer·tile (ĭn-fûr'tl)
Incapable of producing offspring; sterile.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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infertile in Science
  1. Not capable of reproducing.

  2. Not capable of developing into a complete organism, as infertile eggs.

  3. Relating to soil or land that is not capable of supporting or is unfavorable to the growth of plants.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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